Tenant requesting release,8 months early

Only found out today they want
to leave in 2 weeks

My letting agency has advised they will pay my expenses setting up new tenancy.

However considering selling. Is it better to sell flat empty or with new tenants in?

I would say its best to sell empty, as I would expect the property to attract higher price that way. However, it does mean it might sit empty for months awaiting completion, earning no income in the meantime, so its swings & roundabouts.

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Definitely sell with vacant possession unless youre willing to accept below market value offers on an encumbered property. You can apply for part of their deposit in lieue of notice.